Why You're Going to Ditch Your New Year's Resolution (And Why You Should Make Them Anyway)
By Sola Onitiri
May all acquaintance be forgot...
Can you BELIEVE 2017 is over? And no, this is not a baseless faux surprised comment reserved for small talk at the office holiday party. It's the shock that comes from the realization that I'm another year older and it's the time of year for me to take account of everything I did (and didn't) accomplish in 2017. I don't know about you but I think that's scary AF. However, within that reflection comes the nervous excitement of planning the next year. Yep I'm talking about resolutions.
But have you noticed that, everyone beats up on New Year's resolutions? I bet you $5 that in the next week, you're going to see memes, Instagram posts, and Facebook videos completely shitting on making and subsequently breaking New Year's Resolutions. This content is a RELENTLESS bummer but it is based in truth. We've all made resolutions that we've abandoned on day two. So let's talk about how and why we break our resolutions. But trust and believe - this doesn't mean we shouldn't make them.
You're Planning for the unplanable
When you really think about, resolutions are an attempt to put our life in several tidy boxes. Whether your goals involve loosing weight or furthering your career, you are looking for a few adjustments that will act as the magic bullet. Not to take a giant step on my soap box and yell bad news, but this magic bullet does not exist. Life, even with the most precise and perfect planning is unplanable. So, if you're pinning all your hopes on your life altering resolutions, your plans will undeniably and infallibly fail. You're going to give up on your resolutions because life will throw you a fast ball and while your dealing with it, you'll get mad that your resolutions aren't magically clicking your life in place. Make your resolutions with the knowledge that life will get in the way with them.
You're Not Matching
I'm probably going to get a mug that says "Know Thyself" - that's literally how much I say it. From fashion, to romance and on, this mantra is applicable in e v e r y part of your life. If you feel like you need a formal introduction to the person staring you in the mirror, that might be a good place to start when it comes to resolutions. If you already have that part down it's SUPER important, vital even, that you don't lie to yourself about who you are. Cut the track DJ and play that ish back. Do 👏 not 👏 lie 👏 to 👏 yourself👏 . Take me for example. I'm not particularly fond of working out and no one would ever describe me as a morning person. So why in all God's name would I make a resolution that involves a 7:00 am pilates class. Would I like to be the kind of person that gets up all rosy cheeked and excited to sweat at the crack of dawn? Yes, of course. But that will never happen and saying that I will on the first day of the year won't do anything to change that. However, I do know that I need some fitness in my life. So I'll plan to go at a reasonable hour and try a work out that I'll actually enjoy.
You're Optimism is Going to Dwindle
I feel like no one likes to address that people give up on their resolutions because New Year's is in the middle of the freaking winter. Seasonal depression is a SOB, so it makes complete sense that you mental health might get in the way of your best intentions. Optimism is hard to find when the room you just cleaned is cluttered with clothes and family size chip bags and you had to muster every ounce of strength to leave your bed. Sticking with your resolutions requires unrealistic unyielding optimism. So when you feel like your optimism tank is on empty (which will happen) don't just throw your resolutions out with the bathwater. Take time to collect yourself and return to them when you're feeling ready.
You Should Do it Anyway
Honestly, F the memes. F the Facebook videos. F the cerebral Fast Co. think pieces that have scientific reasons why resolutions don't work. Make them anyway! Giving up on making resolutions is kind of like giving up on yourself. You should always start the new year filled with hope. No matter how last year turned out, the belief that this year will be better is a vital. Don't sabotage your year with negativity. And don't let any person or article shame you into that negativity.
So make you resolutions wisely, know thyself, and don't give up when your optimism dwindles or life throws you a fast ball.